30DBC Day 11: A book you hated

On to day 11 of the 30DBC!

Today I’m going to criticise a book I read and absolutely – well, hate is a strong word … but I really really didn’t like this book.

And this was pretty much an easy choice. It’s …

The Guide by R.K. Narayan guide

I had to read this book for my A levels – and I absolutely hated it. There has never been so many characters in a book that I just could not stand.

I’d rather read Twilight a thousand times than read one chapter of this book. And not really ’cause Twilight was that bad either, I actually thought Twilight was quite enjoyable – despite all the hate it gets. So maybe that’s not a good comparison.

The Guide is about a guy named Raju who basically tricks his way through life through his “supposed” charisma. He gets into an affair with a married man’s wife, Rosie (who is honestly a worse anti-feminist than Bella), her husband is not much of a man either, but let’s not berate the casualties of this train wreck of a cast ensemble.

Raju eventually manages to steal Rosie away – cause she was a complete vixen to begin with – and then becomes her stage manager – you know, ’cause Rosie loves to dance and she hated her husband because he did not like her dancing. It is at this point in time of the novel that Raju is absolutely detestable as a character. His already inflated ego expands to the size of a walrus testicle and he tries to control Rosie – and I think that, if it wasn’t for the fact that my literature grades depended on it – I would have thrown this book into the furthest depths of the ocean from which this honking walrus stemmed from.

Somewhere amidst Rosie’s career and Raju’s inflated ego, Raju gets a taste of his own medicine when he gets sentenced to jail for two years for committing forgery. I can’t quite say whether we, as readers, should feel like justice has been served or pity him for his misfortune – but I definitely had a strong case of the former.

A few years after his sentence, when he is finally freed from jail, Raju passes a village and gets mistaken for, out of all people, a spiritual guide or saint. Which he is so far from. I think it’s here that readers are supposed to see Raju as a changed man – but honestly, I saw him pretending to be a spiritual guide as an even bigger means to cover himself as an even more rotten person.

You know how they say with great power comes great responsibility? I believe Raju completely abuses his power and shirks off his responsibility at this point in time. I saw his character no different from his former self as a stage manager. But this time, his stage was the village, and the audience of his performance was us the readers – and the puppets were the villagers.

Raju continuing the act as a humble spiritual guide – I didn’t see it as him trying to not let the villagers down, but instead as him being too much of a coward to live up to his whole ruse.

So, if anything, this novel was a guide on how to be dishonest. And how, so long as you have charisma and emotional intelligence, you can fool everyone in your life in believing you are someone you are not.

So in other words, I really don’t think this novel has any value. I couldn’t appreciate the writing style because of the absolutely overbearing main characters of Raju and Rosie. I absolutely hated their romance – if there was a title for the opposite of an OTP, for me, it’s them.

So, no, in short, I would not recommend this to anyone.

See, I told you guys, this would end up being a rant – and, in hindsight, I would have rather not ranted and saved my words for the books that I actually like. If you guys want to take a look at more books you should just not read, head over to Rhey of Sunshine‘s blog … I just hope she was kinder to the unfortunate lot.

Till next time,

cumuloq ❤

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